Month: March 2015

The Common Core SBAC: Separating fact from fiction, the top ten FAQ’s and answers about opting out

FAQ on opting out of the SBAC.

Seattle Education

 SBAC

There have been a lot of questions about the Common Core Standards (CCS) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests. There have also been conflicting messages, misinformation, some correct information and some boldface lies about opting out of the tests.

Much of the confusion is due to the fact that our state legislators, in their finite wisdom, chose to approve the CCS for our state, sight unseen. That’s right, the CCS had not been completely developed or reviewed when our elected officials in Olympia voted to approve them for every school district in our state. The concomitant SBAC test (in other states it’s the PARCC test), which has not been deemed valid or reliable by way of a  peer reviewed study, is now being taken by students within the Seattle Public School district.

It has been projected that at least 60% of our students will “Fail” the test…

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Film Review: Defies Measurement weaves together problematic purposes of ed reform

A great new documentary about the way in which testing and accountability inform the the current effort to dismantle public education.

Cloaking Inequity

In Defies Measurement, Shannon Puckett expertly weaves together the problematic purposes of testing, Common Core, corporate reform, No Child Left Behind, Teach For America, The Gates Foundation, The Broad Foundation, charter schools, and privatization. The film begins with Chipman middle school and traces the inspiration and impact that the school had on a diverse groups of students over the long term beyond their experience at the Bay Area middle school. The core of the film traces the testing and accountability reform context from their birth in eugenics to their invasion of public schools in the 2000s. At each step, the movie has an acute sense of counter narrative to the common discourse and argument in favor of school reform.

DEFIES MEASUREMENT strengthens the discussion about public education by exploring why it is so important to address the social and emotional needs of every student, and what happens when the wrong people make decisions for…

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Juan Gonzalez: Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and the Tale of Two Cities

Great piece on the Chicago mayoral race.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Juan Garcia, crack investigative reporter for The New York Daily News, interviewed Jesus “Chuy” Garcia about his race against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel had hoped to win a decisive victory, but Garcia forced him into a runoff.

Garcia’s theme echoes the winning theme of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: Chicago has become “a tale of two cities.” A city where the rich and powerful prosper and become more rich and powerful, and a city where working people see their life prospects diminishing.

“People are feeling the effects of inequality in this city, and they don’t like it,” Garcia told me in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

“Rahm has run this city for the benefit of the select few, the high rollers, hedge fund managers, big developers,” he said, “and the people voted for change.”

The Chicago race has instantly turned into the next big test for the soul of…

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